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A Mother’s Prerogative

May 1, 2006
Happy Mother’s Day to moms, you who will be moms, and your moms who are with you or in your memory.

Happy Mother’s Day to moms, you who will be moms, and your moms who are with you or in your memory.

I have one of those “mom stories.” A few weeks ago, my son called while I was cooking dinner. Both of my 20-something children are usually too busy with swim coaching or their lives to join us for dinner anymore. He called because one of his 11-year-old swimmers lost a tooth. She was in the middle of a lap when she exited, highly distraught. Ryan said, “I will let you talk to my mom. She’s a dentist. She’ll tell you what to do.”

With that prelude, Jessica informed me that she had lost a tooth. I asked if she was uncomfortable. “No.” I asked if she had any bleeding. “A little.” I asked if Ryan was getting her some cold water. He said he was getting her some ice water to drink and he would be right back. After assuring her that she was in no danger and that Ryan would hold the tooth in a safe, sanitary place for her mom, I told her she could continue her practice if she felt OK. By the time Ryan returned with the ice water, he was looking for Jessica. He asked his fellow coach where she disappeared, and the young woman pointed to the lap lane. She was swimming. Astonished, Ryan asked Jessica if she wanted the water. She said, “No, your mom said it was OK to go back into the pool.”

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Ryan just laughed and said, “My mom has been waiting 20 years to tell someone to get back in the pool!” He thought this was hysterical. So did my daughter. Both have been swimmers since the age of 4. My daughter went to the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee for swimming and was captain of her high school and college teams. My son, albeit a reluctant swimmer, did well until he decided that theater and film were better career paths for him. He is a Northwestern graduate. I haven’t been able to tell my children to get back into the pool for years, so he felt I was in my glory. In truth, I was proud of him for knowing what basic tooth aid to give to Jessica. He offered her comfort and some ice water (to chill the pain). Not bad for a child who cringed every time he watched my oral pathology slides being shown on the wall. I was pregnant with my daughter almost all of freshman year in dental school and was pregnant with my son by the time I took my Northeast Regional Boards.

I love my children and am proud of both of them. Every day is Mother’s Day with these gifts. I wish you all the same happiness, regardless of your state of motherhood. Enjoy your children and your moms. Make wonderful memories with them. Happy May!

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With warm regards,
Sheri B. Doniger, DDS
Dr. Doniger is the editor of Woman Dentist Journal.

We welcome letters to the editor. Please e-mail your letters to Dr. Doniger at [email protected]. Include your name and the city and state where you practice.